When you think of health and wellness, you might first think of social and emotional well-being. In our physical education and athletics departments, it is our goal to encourage social and emotional health while also supporting our girls to learn about, and practice, healthy habits and fitness within our programs and teams.
We spend a lot of time working to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lifestyles. One major contributing factor to the overall success of anyone on any type of health and fitness journey must be commitment. As physical education and health teachers and coaches, it is critical that we identify what motivates our student-athletes. Whether we know a girl wants to continue her playing career at the collegiate level or if another girl wants to reach her personal best in the number of push-ups on a fitness test, we look for ways to motivate each girl to commit herself to her goal. Setting fitness and season goals, both short-term and long-term, are an important part of our P.E. and athletic department programs.
We believe that a more comprehensive approach helps to teach our students and athletes why they should participate, and how to participate, in physical activity and/or sports on a routine basis, while also factoring in methods of other healthy habits. When our girls begin to know and understand the significance of being physically active, we know they feel empowered and compelled to continue on their journey. However, the steps in between their starting point and the finish line are what we like to focus in on—and what we think separates our program from many others.
Within the lines of our fields and the walls of our gyms, Ellis teachers and coaches are focused on each girl and her own journey to become a better athlete or to become better at taking ownership of her fitness goals in the classroom. As the leaders of our programs, our coaches clearly strive to win. Even so, we take the time to ensure that our girls are aware of the idea that sports and fitness education are about more than winning and testing. Our department works tirelessly to educate our students and athletes about the health-related components of fitness, different training principles, and the overall importance of the relationship between fitness and health.
Our athletic schedules are strategically designed from preseason practices through the final horn of the last game of the season. We prepare our athletes for the season by challenging them to make it through tough practices that set them up for success in intense games. Throughout the season our coaches will often re-evaluate team and individual goals to help keep the girls on track. What is most appealing is the patience and encouragement our coaches provide our athletes to revise or refine their goals—we want them to feel successful and accomplished at the end of the season regardless of the win/loss record. From that, we see how our girls develop into fiercely strong athletes who thrive on healthy competition.
This same concept transfers over to the classroom where our P.E. teachers constantly design and evaluate fitness assessments appropriately. As our goal is to support our girls to learn about and practice healthy habits and fitness, we work hard to give our girls the best experience as they embark on their health and wellness journey within the Ellis physical education and athletics departments.